NEWS January 2003

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Strongheart - November Tour!
Well despite my assertion in August that the latest new was there was no news, in October we got a call from Wilbur, and in November he duly arrived to play a month's worth of shows with us. Tour dates were:-



7th     The Pheasant, Sheffield Lane Top


9th Burton Street Project, Sheffield (private party for Steve Gaines)
Sunday          10th     The Rock Bar, Easington Colliery
Wednesday     13th     The Boardwalk, Sheffield (allegedly with Oliver Dawson's Saxon)
Friday          15th     Axe & Cleaver, Boston
Wednesday  20th     The Welly Club, Hull (allegedly with Oliver Dawson's Saxon)
Thursday      21st     The Pheasant, Sheffield Lane Top
Saturday      23rd     Polish Club, Barnsley
Friday          29th     The Pheasant, Sheffield Lane Top
Saturday      30th     The Big Club, Horden

The sets varied throughout the tour, but mostly included:-


By the end of the tour we'd got 'Rising of the Phoenix' into the set too. Probably the most interesting show was the Pheasant on Thursday 21st November. This was added at the last minute to replace a cancelled show in Stafford, and was a rather poor turn out compared to the usual packed houses at the Pheasant. So we threw the set open to the audience for requests, which lead to renditions of 'Foxy Lady', 'Sunshine of Your Love', 'Red House' and 'Mr. Lonely Eyes'. The big disappointment of the tour was Oliver Dawson's Saxon. They we're scheduled to play two shows with us, but cancelled both at the last minute. This lead to a handful of irate punters at the Boardwalk, who'd been sold advance tickets which we weren't allowed to refund at the door, but meant we got to play a full length set to a packed Boardwalk. Hull was less successful, we'd booked 500 worth of PA, lights & staging & got the cancellation call AFTER it'd all been loaded into the venue. It was a 50/50 decision whether we just drove off & pretended it'd never happened. But in the end we did the honorable thing & stayed to face the music & pick up a very big bill!

Still, on balance we had a great tour, Wilbur covered his air fare (even if he didn't get paid as much as he does with C&W bands in the US), and we're all hoping to do it again in June. Watch this space!


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Whitchurch 2002
A mighty fine time was had by all. We arrived as usual on the Friday night & set to the serious business of pitching camp, cooking up a devilishly hot chili & hitting the beer. Somehow we managed to miss the evenings bands, but I'm sure they were good.

Saturday morning saw us up bright & early & humping & sweating our 3kW PA upstairs to the dining room, which was being used for the first time this year, due to the large sports hall being out of action. (We had been commandeered at the last minute to provide the sound system for the afternoon shows as the main PA company was fully booked with the evening shows). Haze were due to headline the Saturday afternoon, with guest appearances from Gordon & Chris Jellis of Treebeard if they made it down in time. Amazingly the afternoon was running well ahead of schedule (as was Gordon), so we did a quick Acoustic Haze/Treebeard rendition of 'Wave' before kicking in with the main Haze set at 3pm, which I've no idea what it comprised, but was probably selected from the following:-

Which we followed with what Keith Bell 'described as the longest encore ever':-

Please let me know if this is completely wrong. I'll try'n'find the tape of the show, or a set list to confirm what we actually did! Check out the Saturday afternoon review here.

On Sunday Treebeard were due to headline the afternoon session, so, at 3pm after a great set by Damian Wilson we hit the stage with a jammed version of his marvelous 'Homegrown' followed by:-

We knew Keith Bell wouldn't let us go without doing 'Devil' (the missus likes it!)

Check out the Sunday review here.

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Yes we're heading back to Italy this March, thanks once again to the tireless work of Daniele Castracarne. This time we're taking the Treebeard boys with us for an acoustic show in Castello di Pomerio a small castle near Como, along with Italian folk group Sulutumana. We're back to our favorite Swiss venue the Grotto Pasinetti on the way out there & will be appearing at the excellent Spirit of 66 in Verviers, Belgium on the way back. So if anyone has any ideas for venues in  France, Germany, Belgium or Holland for us to do on the way, please drop me an email. Check out the gig guide for the latest updates.

Latest update! Couple of changes in venue -we're now playing at the Officiana della birra in Bioggio, Switzerland instead of Grotto Pasinetti. While we're sad not to be back to Grotto Pasinetti & it's lovely barmaids, Officiana della birra is a real ale pub that brews it's own beer, which should be more than adequate compensation! Also the Treebeard & Sulutumana concert has been moved from the Castello di Pomerio to the Teatro excelsior, as the castle can't cope with more than 150 punters.

Last night we tried out the new TreeHaze lineup in Kirkby in Ashfield, with Paul alternating between bass & guitar, Chis moving from percussion to full drum kit, & me adding bass, keyboards & bass pedals to all the acoustic instruments. Gordon even got a chance to play keyboards too.

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